Formed in 2018, Grand Siècle are a young historical performance ensemble based in the United Kingdom with a particular passion for the French Baroque repertoire. They largely met during their studies in the historical performance department of the Royal College of Music where they developed a love of playing early chamber music together. Madeline Claire de Berrié joined in 2018 after a discovery of a shared love of the French Airs de Cour and Margueritte Wasserman joined in 2020, after accompanying Grand Siècle on tour to the South of France.
Their passion for well-informed performance and respect for the integrity of primary sources, along with a shared musical understanding, brought them together. As an ensemble they are motivated to explore unknown or lesser-known repertoire and to create vital and exciting performances and recordings which bring the music to a wider audience. They present programmes which are dramatic, thematic and include hidden treasures of the music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
They are fortunate to have continued affiliation with the Handel & Hendrix House, London and have performed concerts at Handel House, and Holy Trinity Church, South Kensington. They were selected to compete in the semi-finals of the Göttingen Händel Competition but unfortunately the competition was cancelled due to Covid-19. In the autumn of 2020, they were also chosen to take part in Académie Gli Incogniti to receive coaching from Amandine Beyer, Olivier Fourés, Thibault Amanieu and Noëlle Spieth which enabled them to perform at the Théâtre des Quatre Saisons de Gradignan and the Théâtre de la Coupe d’Or de Rochefort in the South of France.
Having begun his studies on modern violin at the Lisbon Conservatoire and graduated in 2019 from the Royal College of Music from an Artist Diploma course on historical violin with a full scholarship, Abel Balazs is a versatile musician specialised on historical violins. His repertoire ranges the early 17th century and 20th centuries with a specific interest in late 18th century German music and early 19th century music. During his Master’s degree and Artist Diploma studies at the RCM, he was a Parnassus Award Holder studying under professor Catherine Martin and Bojan Čičić. Abel has participated in masterclasses and received tutoring from various prominent musicians, among them, Pavlo Beznosiuk, Enrico Gatti, Vittorio Ghielmi, Amandine Beyer, Monica Huggett, Catherine Mackintosh and Alessandro Tampieri. Abel has played with several leading period instrument ensembles in the U.K., including Florilegium, Gabrieli Consort & Players, Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Early Opera Company, La Nuova Musica and The Illyria Consort.
In January 2018, he was awarded a two year grant and became a member of the Theresia Orchestra, an international ensemble specialized in historical performance of the classical repertoire. In this orchestra, he has worked with renowned musicians such as Claudio Astronio, Chiara Banchini, Gaetano Nasillo, Roel Dieltiens and Alfredo Bernardini. Recently, he was selected to be part of the extra players of the Orquestra Barroca da Casa da Música in Portugal. He is currently holding a place in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s Experience Scheme 2019 and the Handel House Talent scheme 2019. Abel was awarded in June 2019, the McKenna Prize 2019 for having the highest mark in a baroque instrument at the Royal College of Music. Abel Balazs plays on a Baroque violin by Zosimo Bergonzi.
In 2020, Marguerite Wassermann completed her MMus at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was taught by Margaret Faultless and Pavlo Beznosiuk. Her thesis project centered on late sixteenth-century and early seventeenth-century ornamentation practices. She was awarded a Dip_RAM for her final recital. Prior to this, Marguerite read Music at New College, Oxford where she held an instrumental award.
Marguerite is a seasoned chamber musician, and has performed in recitals at St Anne’s Kew, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, The Holywell Music Rooms, and the Keble Early Music Festival. She also loves orchestral playing and holds the Belsize Baroque Orchestra’s Leader Scholarship. Marguerite plays on a Jacob Stainer violin generously loaned to her by the Royal Academy of Music.
Viola da Gamba
During her undergraduate studies as a recorder player at the Royal College of Music, Sarah was introduced to the viola da gamba and has since participated in masterclasses with musicians including Vittorio Ghielmi, Christoph Coin, Paolo Pandolfo and Ton Koopman, graduated with a Bachelors degree on both instruments, and was awarded the Deutschlandstipendium scholarship to study with Hille Perl in Bremen, Germany, before returning to the RCM in 2018 to study with Reiko Ichise for a Master of Performance.
Sarah performs as a soloist and chamber musician with various ensembles across the UK and Europe, and is an RCM Award Holder supported by the Linda Hill Scholarship, Robert McFadzean Whyte Award, the Countess of Munster Trust and Help Musicians UK.
MADELINE CLAIRE DE BERRIÉ
Madeline Claire de Berrié studied Music at Magdalene College, Cambridge whilst singing at Trinity College, Cambridge, and subsequently studied at Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag, as a post-graduate at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London before participating in the 2017-2018 edition of BAROCK VOKAL, at the Kolleg für alte Musik an der HfM Mainz. Also a singer/baroque violinist, Madeline has sung with Capella Sancta Maria in Amsterdam (also in collaboration with La Caravaggia), Laurens Collegium Rotterdam, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, The Venice Baroque Orchestra, The Academy of Ancient Music, The Orchestra of the Age of Englightenment, Praetorius, The Floriade Ensemble, Capella del Arte, The Belgrade Baroque Academy, Venti Vecchi, The Neumayer Consort, Juliard 415 and Chamber Music New Zeland, Capella Cracoviensis (Bach Festival Swindica, Poland), Collegium Musicum Riga and the Guildhall Consort with the Academy of Ancient Music. Madeline has Directed/Assistant Directed/Choreographed the following operas: (Pelléas et Mélisande, (Debussy) - Director, Orpheus et Euridice (Gluck) - Director, Don Giovanni, (Mozart) - Assistant Director, Xerxes (Handel) - Assistant Director, Les Mamelles de Tiresias (Poulenc) - Assistant Director - Monteverdi’s Orfeo with Teatron Oneiron (Choreographer) - Monteverdi’s Ballo Delle Ingrate (DMKD Copenhagen, Denmark, dir. Andrew Laurence-King). Most recently Madeline directed Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles at The Waterloo Festival with THE RENEGADES and 'Mêler l’or de ses rayons’, a double bill of Elizabeth Jaquet de La Guerre’s Prologue from Céphale et Procris, and Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants (2019), which received a five star review. Most recently, Madeline assistant directed Ensemble Orquestra’s production of The Magic Flute (June 2019), Berlin Opera Academy’s production of The Magic Flute (July 2019) and Ensemble Orquestra's Alcina (July 2019).
Aidan Phillips (Harpsichord) is an alumnus of the Royal College of Music London, where he completed both the Bachelor of Music and the Master of Performance degrees. He has studied with Terence Charleston, Carole Cerasi, Jane Chapman in London and Fabio Bonizzoni and Jacques Ogg at the Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag in The Netherlands. He was subsequently appointed the first ever RCM Junior Fellow in harpsichord and continuo supported by a Ruth Dyson scholarship. Active as both a recitalist and chamber musician, Aidan has performed extensively throughout the UK, Europe, America and Australia. He has collaborated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, Florilegium to name but a few. Recent appearances include performances at the Styriate-Festival in Graz (Austria) / The BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall (London) / Versailles Les Vignt-Quatre Violons du Roi (France) / The Queen’s Gallery Buckingham Palace, Salvatorsaal in Vienna / Monpellier Opéra Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon / St. Martin’s in the Fields (London) / St.John’s Smith Square (London) / Handel and Hendrix House (London) / The London Handel Festival (St. George’s Hannover Square, London) / Internationale Händel Festspiele Göttingen (Germany) / The Bishopsgate Institute(London). In August 2018, Aidan was invited to participate in the Bruges International Harpsichord Competition (Belgium).
Beth Stone started playing flute at the age of six, studying at Chetham’s School of Music from age eleven with Rachel Forgrieve. In 2015, an interest in baroque flute blossomed and she started learning with Dr Martyn Shaw as well as being part of many baroque chamber groups & projects including performing Telemann’s Concerto for Flute and Recorder with orchestra. Recently, she was invited to play Vivaldi’s C Major Double Flute Concerto in Gradignan and Rochefort, South of France. Beth has also performed numerous times at the annual London International Festival of Early Music both soloisticly and with chamber groups. She has had the opportunity to be invited to join the Cambridge Handel Opera Company, Luceat Choir and London Choral Sinfonia for projects and performs regularly with the RCM Baroque Orchestra. Beth is an undergraduate student at the Royal College of Music as an Ian Evans Lombe Scholar, studying modern flute with Gitte Marcusson and historical flutes with Rachel Brown as part of the joint principal course. She has had the opportunity of learning renaissance and classical flute there and has been a part of several chamber and orchestral projects. She has aspirations to pursue a career in both instruments and to gain experience, knowledge and understanding of the vast music she plays.